For chronic leg and back pain, there is a product out there that claims your pain will subside by 80%. This works by thin wires being surgically placed in the vertebrae in the spine, which are then attached to an electrical device to stimulate the nerves to block the pain signals to the brain.
This sounds promising, people are having substantial pain relief, this is a minimally invasive procedure, so not a long recovery time at all. It isn’t like all the other surgeries, neurologists use light sedation and insert the wires and the electrical stimulation device. Depending on the brand you use, you may have control of the level of stimulation. The other kinds stay at a maintained level to relieve your pain.
I have had chronic pain and I know how debilitating it can be, so this might be a great option for folks suffering from it. The spinal cord stimulator I reviewed is something newer called HF10. This could mean freedom from pain for many.
Recently Approved SCS By The FDA
HF10 is a newly approved SCS (spinal cord stimulator) for chronic pain. The reviews are excellent, this was recently approved by the FDA, the company name, NEVRO, is based out of California, and they’re main goal is to provide patients with chronic pain relief. While I have heard of SCS before, I was not aware that this type of device has been around for 30 years already.
This one is different, it is a next generation approach that offers long term relief, without a medication. This has been available in Australia and parts of Europe for about 8 years already. In 2016, it was approved for U. S patients and the FDA says this is superior to other SCS treatment for back and leg pain.
This is an important alternative to the opioids that have created an epidemic in a lot of the world, and in the U.S. alone since before 2011. More than 130 people have died DAILY in 2016 and 2017, those numbers are even higher at the time of this article, 2019. This is said to be better, and easier than other SCS devices. I researched and found loads of news articles and video on this, and let me say folks, this looks like an amazing treatment. ( Links lead to products on Amazon)
How HF10 Works
This offers a revolutionary way to receive pain relief from chronic back and leg pain. The small implanted battery, delivers mild electrical pulses directly through the spinal cord, this in turn, calms those nerves and blocks the pain signals to the brain. There are TENS units out there that are similar but you wear it on the outside and you can get them nowadays in any pharmacy for on the lower end of $30.00.
The difference with those are that they only provide temporary relief, so you have to keep using it. It works in about the same way by mild electrical impulses to the brain releasing endorphins, which are painkilling chemicals. This does work, I have had pain relief from this method, but it often involves gel pad electrodes and messy gels that you have to keep buying.
HF10 is implanted, then there is a small patch that you keep on your skin. You can drive with this on, you can exercise, and just live life. 88% of patients have seen a significant reduction in pain after 3 months. It comes with a charger that they advise is best kept plugged into a wall outlet. Then you place the charging pad over the area where your device is implanted, over a thin piece of clothing.
Then sit back and charge. It lets you know if the charging pad is in the wrong spot by small chirping noises, and if it slips, just readjust. Also, the lights on the wall charger light up to let you know you are charging and when you are finished it will let you know.
Implant Procedure- What To Expect
The process they use to implant the thin wires and the battery, is minimally invasive, meaning not a major surgery where you would have to stay in the hospital. In most cases you will be placed under light anesthesia and kept comfortable. Then the surgeon would place thin wires in the area that is needed with a battery.
After the procedure is over, the staff will monitor your recovery and you can most likely go home the same day. The difference between this and the TENS unit spoken about above, is you will not feel any tingling sensation. Most of your pain should subside. You will have the device itself replaced every 3-4 years, and annual maintenance is required.
Cost / Insurance Coverage
I looked into the cost of this possibly life changing device, and I will tell you it isn’t cheap. The great thing is you will have a free 30-day trial, which means the doctor will place the wires in your vertebrae and instead of the battery itself being placed, you will be wearing it outside the body around the area like a belt, this way you can see if it works for you first. Now the price for SCS devices are between $15,000-$50,0000, this includes the hospital fees as well. The good news is that it is covered by medicare and many insurance companies.
For chronic back and leg pain sufferers, this could be amazing. Some testimonials I have read are as follows: ” I’m a completely different person since HF10.” “I have 100% relief from pain.” ” I’m a guy who no longer lives with crippling agonizing pain.” I have found some reviews of the failure of this device, whether it was just a faulty SCS or not, I am not sure, but we are here to look at this from both angles.
In a forum for chronic back pain I read a story about a woman who had the final implant put in, but after 3 days it had stopped working and the pain came back. Remember there is going to be some surgical pain that has to resolve, so keep that in mind. Another woman was 2 months post op and she said she was still waiting for pain relief. One common theme I am seeing is that the trial period does work most of the time.
One other thought I had been the possibility that the device is numbing the pain so good that you end up doing too much and you may injure yourself and not be aware, but now that I understand how it works, the risk of this is low. I am really interested in this, and if my pain ever comes back full force I would definitely look into this type of implanted device for my pain.
My hope is that this article can help someone out there that maybe wasn’t aware of the SCS devices for chronic back and leg pain. I thank you for reading and as always, I would love to hear your thoughts!
* Disclaimer- I am not a medical professional and this is strictly my opinion after reviewing these products, as always, speak to a physician before any action you take. This is not to substitute medical advice.
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